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Comment of the Fortnight

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Comment of 14 December 1998
New Digital Camera

Olympus recently came out with a new digital zoom camera in point-and-shoot format; the D400 Zoom. I figured that it would make a good replacement for the Nikon, which I didn't like as much as my Olympus D-500L (See that comment). I bought the D400 Zoom, and you can see pictures from this new camera.

On the plus side

I like the user interface, and the camera does have some neat features. For example, when you're reviewing pictures you've taken, you can use the telephoto switch to zoom in on sections of the picture. It's also very light on battery usage; one set of NiMH batteries seems to last much longer in the 400Z than in the Olympus D-500L or in the Nikon 900.

On the minus side

The flash seems underpowered. The ISO rating is advertised as 100, but it seems to be closer to 60. This means that you need a lot of light to get a decent picture from the camera. Although the camera has a much better "hand feel" than the Nikon, it still seems too small, given that I'm used to a camera the size of a Pentax K-1000. I'm also not as happy with the printouts from the 400Z as I am with those from the Olympus D500-L, which has a lower resolution of 1024 x 768.

The Bottom Line

I'm taking the D-400Z with me on vacation next week, and I'll see what kind of pictures I can get from it. Then I'll decide whether to keep it, or to sell it and wait for a camera that has the higher resolution of the 400Z (1280 x 960) and the higher ISO of the D500-L (150)

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